The whole idea of arranging your successful house swap might, at first, appear somewhat daunting. Don’t worry, we are here to help! This page gives you an overview of some of the top tips which, if followed, should ensure a holiday to remember. There are also several resources online that you can refer to and we’ve put some links at the bottom of the page to help you.
First and foremost, a successful house swap is based on communication, mutual trust and understanding, so it is vital to invest the time and effort to get to know your potential house swap partners. If you have questions, ask! Get to know your potential partner through our internal emailing system, but take it a step further and phone them, Skype them, add them as friends on Facebook .etc... in other words, do your homework.
You should establish a good rapport with your potential partner and clarify your expectations. A little bit of time spent before you agree to your swap will repay itself hundreds of times over.
Remember that honesty and trust are vital attributes of our community – you wouldn’t want to be disappointed on your arrival at your destination because you feel you’ve been misled, so don’t mislead others. Someone wants to stay in your house for what it is, not because you’ve “sold” them on something it isn’t.
You are looking for a similar type of person or family, so if, for example, you’re foodies and want to spend time sampling local produce and eating out, it makes sense to find a smaller place, with a good kitchen, that is situated close to restaurants. Also, if you’re traveling with energetic children, it will obviously be important that the house is child-friendly with unfussy furnishings and a garden.
We don’t visit our members properties (although we do confirm they are, in fact, the owners through our unique Deeds Office search requirements), so study photos carefully.
You need to agree upfront on how the water and lights accounts will be settled, as well as phone calls (if there is a landline).
You can agree to swap cars as well for the duration of your swap, but obviously need to check with your insurance company that this is permitted, and if it isn't then attend to the necessary to make sure it can be.
Often the swap includes the care of pets and garden maintenance. It is all up to agreement, so be sure to be clear on what your needs are and what you are willing to do or not do.
When it comes to your household insurance, a house swap is not a commercial agreement, so your insurance is not affected, but you should check to make sure.
Missing personal property is not our responsibility. You are advised to remove any valuable personal items.
Just in case of a last minute cancellation, you should ask your travel insurance to include cancellation cover, to protect you from the costs of flights, especially, but also car rental hire.
On a more practical note:
The above are just some basics. If you would like some more information then log on to any of these websites for stacks more details.